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Judi Dench, Joanna Lumley and Carol Royle join Animal Free Research UK and University of Nottingham Biodiscovery Institute to Heal Broken Hearts this Valentine’s Day

Published on February 13, 2023

Our wonderful Patrons, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joanna Lumley and Carol Royle have joined forces with Animal Free Research UK and the University of Nottingham Biodiscovery Institute this Valentine’s Day to combat cardiac fibrosis, a major cause of heart failure in the UK.

Oscar-winning actor, Dame Judi Dench, said: “Animal Free Research UK is funding innovative researchers at the University of Nottingham to develop cutting edge ‘mini hearts’ to help find new treatments and protect those with cardiac fibrosis, while replacing animals in research. This research is truly set to heal broken hearts.

“Advanced scientific approaches are making a real difference and, this Valentine’s Day, I urge everyone to support Animal Free Research UK to achieve breakthroughs for patients without costing animal lives.”

Professor Chris Denning and Dr Nguyen T N Vo are developing animal-free ‘mini hearts’ by using human stem cells and gene editing to investigate how heart disease alters the way different heart cells respond to each other. Their highly defined, human-focused model could lead to the development of new drugs for patients and save the lives of people and animals.

Dame Joanna Lumley said: “Heart and circulatory diseases cause a quarter of all deaths in the UK. But thankfully, Animal Free Research UK is a leader among the pathfinders seeking to cure diseases faster and cheaper – saving the lives of both humans and animals.

“I am immensely proud of this small charity and the foundational role it has played and continues to play in creating cutting-edge, humane and human-relevant methods of research.”

Actor and animal champion, Carol Royle, adds: “Heart failure affects 900,000 people in the UK each year, with cardiac fibrosis a leading cause. This has led to a near exponential rise in animal use in laboratories to find treatments. By 2030, it is predicted that 1.1 million animals in the UK alone will have been used in the research. But hope comes in the form of this pioneering animal-free research.”

Professor Chris Denning said: “Patients with heart disease concurrent with cardiac fibrosis are 18 times more likely to be hospitalised and die. Yet despite decades of animal research, there are no effective treatments or cures. There is a pressing need for new ways to study cardiac fibrosis. We need human systems to understand human disease.”

Carla Owen, CEO of Animal Free Research UK, said: “We are proud to work in partnership with the University of Nottingham where exceptional staff and students are pushing boundaries to not only improve human health but replace the use of animals in research. This Valentine’s Day, we’re focused on healing broken hearts.”

You can take action for animals, by uniting with us now!

What better outcome for animals and humans could there be if animal free research was to provide the key to understanding and treating conditions like this?

But we need your help to complete the project, so that we can build on the strong evidence that ANIMAL FREE is the gold standard for saving human and animal lives, faster. Our scientists and the animals bred into research are still in great need of your support.

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